The TEN Network was forced to screen more New Zealand content in 2011 to meet local content quotas because Neighbours did not attract any points by screening on ELEVEN.
Media watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority has released its latest quota findings for 2011 and found that Seven, Nine and TEN all passed the minimum of 55 per cent Australian content quota in 2011.
Seven Network licensees (in the five mainland state capital cities) averaged around 66%. It screened around 168 hrs of first release Aussie drama.
Nine Network licensees (in the three metropolitan markets of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane) also averaged around 66%. It screened around 80 hours of first release Aussie drama.
Network Ten licensees averaged around 62%. It screened around 80 hours of first release Aussie drama (NB: multichannel content does not attract quota points).
Compared to previous years the numbers were quite high, but networks are screening more and more content from New Zealand because it passes as ‘local content’ under a Trade Agreement.
ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said, “However, the ACMA notes that the amount of New Zealand drama programming claimed as first release Australian drama quota has been increasing. The Australia and New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement requires that New Zealand television programs are treated as Australian programs, and are treated accordingly by the ACMA.”
With Neighbours not counting for any points, TEN screened 33.3% NZ Drama, a rise from 17.6% in 2010.
NZ titles included Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons, and Outrageous Fortune. It also had 6 first run Australian movies.
Nine played 10.1% NZ drama, the series Nothing Trivial and 5 first run Aussie movies.
Seven screened 0% NZ drama and 1 first run local film. But Seven did screen nearly 35% NZ first-release documentaries with such titles as Border Patrol, Dog Patrol, Coastwatch, Drug Bust, Nurses, SCU: Serious Crash Unit, and Wild Vets.
Nine and TEN both had 0% NZ first-release documentaries.
There was also an increase in the number of first release miniseries. But networks are also claiming shows as mini-series to attract higher points including Offspring, Wild Boys, Rush, Sea Patrol -the latter two were ‘Series’ a year earlier with a larger output. With shorter runs in 2011 they were classified as mini-series, attracting higher points per hour.
With one station exception, all three networks met no more than the exact 130 hours required of them in Children’s Television (further suggesting that without regulation they probably wouldn’t go there at all). TEN also screened NZ kid’s series Paradise Cafe for first-release content points.
However Channel Seven Brisbane failed to meet its preschool program quota in 2011, broadcasting 129.5 hours, 30 minutes short of the quota due to a scheduling error. It will broadcast an additional 30 minutes of preschool programs in 2012 to make up for the shortfall.
You can read the full report here.